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Insitute vs. university

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Does anyone know from experience if it is better to go through four years in a university for a bachelor''s degree in computer science or to go to an institute where they only teach in my field of choice? Or maybe even to go to both...? Thanks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
if in doubt go for the university

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I would definitely look for a nationally ranked CS / Engineering university. I''m sure that you will get a much better education in and out of the field of your choice. Thats what I did, although I guess I''m lucky to have a great (supposedly) CS school in my area (University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana)


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In the US, a Polytechnic Institute is generally just as good as a univeristy, but only for technical fields such as computer science or mathematics.

Univeristies will have better humanities departments. This may not seem important now, but it probably will be, especially if you are even considering a couple classes in film or animation (even computer animation!)

If you''re talking about a plain ol ''institute'' you are generally going to be getting a less respected degree.

(Of course, there are exceptions to this, such as MIT)

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First of all, MIT is a University, just like Texas Tech is a University. You can get a bachelors, a masters, or a PhD from either of them.

As far as which is better, that depends on what you want to do with your life. Generally speaking, especially with the technology market being down, you are more likely to start out at a higher salary with a university degree than a tech school degree, however after 5 years or so no one will look at where you went to school anymore. Going to a tech school will probably make it much harder to ever get out of a tech job however, which means don''t ever plan on doing management unless you go back to school.

If I was to list the pros and cons I would say:

Pros: Done in fewer years.
Only learn your own field, don''t have to take classes you
don''t care about.
Many tech schools guarantee that they will find you a job.

Cons: Limited education = limited opportunity, don''t expect to
get a job outside your area of study, you will be stuck
in a tech/programmer/engineering position and will have a
more difficult time getting into lead positions or
manager positions.
Less respected degree, when competing for a job with
someone else with a bachelors you will probably lose.
Learn less theoretics, at a university you have to derive
algorithms and learn how and why things work, at a tech
school you skimp on the physics and learn less
theoretics,this is bad if you want a job where you will
be designing stuff from scratch.

Of course in the end it all comes down to how well you can prove your worth when you get on the job market. If you do an excellent job you can easily move up in a company, and can get good recomendations to help you get new jobs. If you do an average job you will always come in second to another average Joe with a university degree.


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